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10 Maintenance Tips for Your Waterfront Home

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10 Maintenance Tips for Your Waterfront Home

Living near water brings both the beauty of nature and the practical challenges of waterfront property maintenance. Houghton Lake in Michigan, renowned for its scenic vistas and vibrant community, offers its residents the privilege of waking up to waterfront views every day. However, the joy of lakeside living comes with the responsibility of regular home maintenance to protect against the elements.

Waterfront properties here face specific challenges such as moisture, erosion, and the harsh Michigan winters, requiring homeowners to adopt specialized care routines. In this blog, we will discuss key maintenance strategies to maintain the strength and beauty of your waterfront home, ensuring it remains a haven for years to come.

Regularly Inspect and Maintain the Foundation

Waterfront homes, with their proximity to water bodies, are particularly vulnerable to foundation issues.

  • Regular inspections can identify early signs of damage or erosion.
  • Engage professionals for periodic assessments to ensure the foundation remains solid.
  • Implement landscaping that supports soil stability and proper drainage.
  • Keep an eye on water levels, especially during rainy seasons, to prevent foundation soaking.

Protect Your Home from Water Damage

Living by Houghton Lake means being vigilant about water damage, especially during stormy weather or floods.

  • Seal windows and doors thoroughly to prevent leaks.
  • Invest in high-quality sump pumps and consider battery backups for power outages.
  • Clean and maintain gutters to direct rainwater away effectively.
  • Elevated construction or barriers can also offer additional protection in flood-prone areas.

Utilize Storage for Seasonal Gear

For the safekeeping of water sports equipment and outdoor furniture during off-season months, local storage facilities are a practical solution.

  • Proper labeling of containers simplifies the organization and retrieval process.
  • Look for a Houghton Lake storage facility that provides various sizes, ensuring you find the perfect space for all your belongings.
  • Regularly check on your stored items for any signs of wear or damage.

Combat Humidity and Mold Inside the Home

The proximity to the lake can lead to increased indoor humidity levels, fostering an environment where mold thrives.

  • Dehumidifiers in basements and living areas can keep moisture levels in check.
  • Ensure that your home is well-ventilated, particularly in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry areas.
  • Regular HVAC inspections and filter changes promote clean, dry air circulation.
  • Swiftly address any leaks in roofing or plumbing to mitigate water ingress and mold growth.

Preserve Exterior Wood and Decking

The charm of a lakeside home often lies in its wooden features, which require diligent care to resist weathering and moisture.

  • Apply protective sealants to decks and docks to shield them from water and sun damage.
  • Inspect wooden structures for signs of rot or insect damage, repairing or replacing affected areas promptly.
  • Regular cleaning of wood surfaces helps prevent the accumulation of dirt and mildew.
  • For long-term durability, consider alternative materials that mimic wood but offer greater resistance to the elements.

Implement Efficient Landscaping

Landscaping can play a significant role in both enhancing the beauty of your waterfront property and protecting it from potential environmental damage.

  • Choose native plants that thrive in your local climate without extensive watering or care.
  • Design your landscape to include natural barriers that help control erosion and absorb excess water.
  • Opt for permeable paving options to reduce runoff and increase groundwater recharge.
  • Regularly trim trees and bushes to minimize debris during storms and maintain an unobstructed view of the water.

Prioritize Dock and Seawall Maintenance

Docks and seawalls are critical structures for waterfront homes, providing access to the water and protecting against erosion.

  • Inspect these structures annually for signs of wear, such as cracks, rust, or wood rot.
  • Apply weather-resistant coatings to docks and seawalls to extend their lifespan.
  • Ensure that any repairs or modifications comply with local regulations and environmental guidelines.
  • Consider professional assessments for seawalls, especially if you notice uneven settling or water pooling in your yard.

Opt for Saltwater-Resistant Materials

The proximity to water, especially saltwater, necessitates the use of materials that can withstand the corrosive effects of the environment.

  • When making repairs or additions, choose materials such as stainless steel, composite decking, and marine-grade paints.
  • Regularly rinse exterior surfaces with fresh water to remove salt deposits that can accelerate corrosion.
  • Replace fasteners, hinges, and fixtures with corrosion-resistant options to prevent deterioration.
  • Seal windows and doors with materials designed to block moisture and salt air penetration.

Upgrade to Storm-Resistant Features

Improving your home’s resilience against severe weather is crucial because it reduces the risk of structural damage, which can be expensive to repair. Additionally, bolstering your home’s ability to withstand severe weather ensures the safety of your family by minimizing the chance of injury or harm during storms or other extreme weather events.

  • Install impact-resistant windows and doors to protect against high winds and flying debris.
  • Consider a backup generator to maintain essential functions during power outages.
  • Reinforce roofs and siding with materials rated for high wind and hail resistance.
  • Evaluate the landscape for potential hazards, such as old trees or loose rocks, that could damage your property in a storm.

Regular Cleaning and Sealing

Regular maintenance tasks can prevent the buildup of grime and the premature aging of your home’s exterior.

  • Clean siding, decks, and outdoor furniture seasonally to remove algae, salt, and dirt.
  • Apply sealants to wood and concrete surfaces every few years to lock out moisture and prevent cracking.
  • Check and clean your home’s drainage system to ensure water flows away from your property efficiently.
  • Pressure wash walkways and docks to keep them safe and attractive.


Maintaining a waterfront home requires dedication and a proactive approach to address the unique challenges presented by its enviable location. By implementing efficient landscaping, prioritizing dock and seawall maintenance, choosing saltwater-resistant materials, upgrading to storm-resistant features, and keeping up with regular cleaning and sealing, homeowners can safeguard their investment and enjoy the unparalleled beauty of lakeside living.

These strategies not only contribute to the longevity and appeal of your waterfront property but also enhance your quality of life by providing a safe, serene, and stunning environment to call home. Follow these maintenance tips to ensure your waterfront home remains a cherished retreat for generations to come.